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Cruise line refuses to re-book family vacation after boy diagnosed with cancer

A cruise ship is refusing to let a New York couple re-book a dream summer vacation after their 5-year-old boy was unable to go on the trip because he was diagnosed with cancer.

The parents of Nicolas Colucci say Norwegian Cruise Line is refusing to accommodate them, citing its cancellation policy.

The family-friendly cruise, in partnership with the Nickelodeon channel, was scheduled to start on June 1, but Nicolas got sick on May 19. He was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his liver, and had surgery a few days later. He is still undergoing chemotherapy.

The cruise line says any cancellation within 14 days or less of the sail date is subject to a 100 percent cancellation fee. Now, the boy’s family is out $4,000.

“I just never imagined. . . that they would be so heartless, basically.”

- Tara Colucci

“They said we should have gotten insurance, traveler’s insurance,” Tara Colucci told “Fox & Friends“ Sunday.

Philip Colucci told the show he couldn’t believe the cruise line’s stance. “I felt that a cruise line that is family-oriented, who caters to families . . . it was a Nickelodeon cruise; I was just astounded,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that they wouldn’t have helped us out.”

Norwegian issued a statement to “Fox & Friends” saying, “Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the Colucci family and we wish Nicolas a speedy recover. . . After reviewing the request of the Colucci family, we spoke with the family and explained that while we couldn’t make an exception to our policy, we would assist them when they were ready to re-book their cruise.”

But Tara Colucci said the cruise line did not offer them any guarantees that they would have a spot on a future cruise.

Doctors removed 60 percent of Nicolas’ liver, his gall bladder, part of his diaphragm and lymph nodes. The cancellation was a big disappointment for the boy. He had made a calendar counting down the days until the trip.

“It’s not like our son got the flu or a cold and we couldn’t go,” Tara Colucci told MyFoxNY Thursday. “I just never imagined, especially a company as big as Norwegian, that they would be so heartless, basically.”

After the MyFoxNY story, the CEO of another cruise line called the Coluccis, who live in North Babylon, Long Island. He offered them a free cruise with Nicolas and Nicolas’ younger brother when they are ready.

Tara Colucci told “Fox & Friends” the CEO's offer was amazing. She also said she would advise other parents planning a family cruise to take out traveler’s insurance or maybe choose a different company.

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